Guitarist for “The Strokes” Nick Valensi is fronting his own group called “CRX.” The rock band is quickly climbing the musical ranks and bringing its tough style to Dallas on Dec. 11 for a show at Trees. Valensi was kind enough to take some time and answer a few questions from The Daily Campus.
Daily Campus: What made you want to follow music as a profession?
Nick Valensi: My dad taught me how to play a few chords on guitar when I was really young. Then when I was around seven years old, I saw a Guns N’ Roses video on MTV and became obsessed. I’ve known ever since then that I wanted to play guitar in a rock band.
DC: How did you get your start professionally?
NV: When I was 13 I started a band with Julian Casablancas and Fab Moretti, and that turned into The Strokes. By the time I was 19, we were kind of a popular local act in NYC, and eventually we got a record contract. I don’t really know how it happened, to be honest. We worked our a**es off when we were kids, and by the time we were in our 20s, it was paying off.
DC: You’re currently touring, is there anywhere you’re looking forward to?
NV: I’m just super psyched to be back on the road, playing for people, meeting fans and stuff. Driving across the U.S. is always a cool experience. Also, I’d love to get CRX to Japan because that’s one of my favorite countries to visit.
DC: You recently released your debut album, what was that like?
NV: It’s the first time since 2001 that I’m having the opportunity to introduce a new band to the world, and it is pretty f***ing exciting. Makes me feel kinda like a kid again.
DC: Is there anything you are working on right now?
NV: Yeah, there’s some new music floating around. I wanna start work on another CRX album as soon as possible, and there’s also some new stuff going on with strokes that’s in very early stages, but it’s really exciting.
DC: Are there any artists you would call inspirations?
NV: As a guitar player, I’ve always been inspired by Mike Campbell, the guitarist for Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers. His guitar solos are memorable, melodic and concise. I’m not really into it when guitar players take extended solos for, like, five minutes. I’d rather say something new and exciting in 10 seconds and let you get back to the singer. Josh Homme has always been an inspiration too, and I was lucky enough to get him to produce our debut album.
DC: What can we expect at a CRX concert?
NV: It’s a loud, sweaty rock show, man! The beer will flow like water, and sex will be had.
DC: How did you end up with the name CRX?
NV: I loved that car when I was a kid.